Staying abreast of the news…You can run but you can’t hide…Out and about on a cloudy day…

The Montfort Technical Institute in Savusavu assists poor children academically and economically to gain skills to prepare them for a productive adulthood.

While living in most vacation homes, in the mornings after showering and dressing for the day, we pour our coffee and sit down to work on our laptops; me, preparing the day’s post; and Tom, conducting research for future travels, communicating with friends and family and checking out what’s new at, a favorite pastime.

The entrance to the Montfort Technical Institute.

Once comfortably situated, we’d turn on the TV, when we’ve had one, to check on the day’s news, during which I’d often find inspiration for the day’s story. With no TV here in Fiji, we’ve spent the past almost three months reading news online which as far as we’re concerned, is often “spun” to appear one way or another.

Online news is not much different than TV news. It too may be slanted to appeal to the provider’s and the viewer’s political and social preferences. It’s difficult to ascertain what is fact and what is exaggerated (or minimized) as truth or fiction. I suppose it’s the same for viewers all over the world.

We passed the small village of Jerusalemi.

Whether we have a TV or not, we stay well abreast of what’s transpiring throughout the world with or without “spin.” In some countries even the modest local news programs gives us a fair perspective of events occurring in the US and other countries, enough to inspire us to investigate anything that we’d like to further explore.

Many of our family and friends may think we’ve been out of touch with world affairs when in many ways we’re more aware now than we were in our old lives when the hustle and bustle of daily life kept us from watching much news. Although, Tom avidly read the Minneapolis StarTribune newspaper for years. 

Instead of suburbs small groupings of homes are in a specific area, often designated as a village.

I never took the time to read the newspaper but Tom kept me informed as to world events. It was only after we connected almost 25 years ago, that I became interested in politics, financial markets and world affairs when he often discussed these hot topics.

For a period of time after we left Minnesota, Tom subscribed to the newspaper’s online edition but, later lost interest when Minnesota news became less interesting to him the further and further away we traveled. 

As a Minnesota transplant in the late 60’s, I was less connected to Minneapolis with no childhood experiences and memories. My personal memories revolved around the life I built in Minnesota as a single mom with two sons, making it on my own, at times stressful and angst-ridden and at other times, fulfilling and successful. I guess that’s how life is anyway, isn’t it?

This area is a chicken farm with cages for the chickens.  Not all chickens in Fiji are free-range. Although they aren’t injected with drugs or fed chemicals, they may eat grains. There’s no way to be 100% certain that eggs we purchase are from free range chickens when crates aren’t labeled at the farmers market.  So far, I’ve suffered no ill effects from consuming the unknown eggs sources.

As we live on a remote island in Fiji, where peacefulness and an easy pace is the order of the day, where police officers have plenty of time to drink coffee and commiserate with their people, where crime is almost non-existent, we languish in this simple life. Since we arrived, we haven’t heard a single siren of any sort.

But, the realities of news throughout the world is never far from our range of vision. It’s easy to become wrapped up in what’s transpiring in our home state, home country and other parts of the world.

I always had a perception that living on a remote island would keep one free from the strife and horrors throughout the world but the simple saying, “You can run but you can’t hide” is more true than I ever imagined.

Savusavu has an industrial district mainly consisting of lumber yards

The very thing that makes our world travel possible…the Internet…proves to be the very thing that keeps us feeling concerned over what’s happening in the world. 

Many would think that we sit back in idle contemplation of our next photo taking opportunity, our next sightseeing expedition, our upcoming location and the locations we’re yet to see in the future.

Undoubtedly, those aspects of our lives are the forefront of our minds and will always be so as we continue to travel the world. But now, we think in terms of where it is safe to travel, how we’ll reduce the risks with wars and strife surrounding us throughout the world.  Some countries previously on our “wish list’ have now been eliminated.

A lumberyard in the industrial area of Savusavu.

No, we don’t attempt to avoid exposure to the news. No, we aren’t free of the same concerns many citizens of the world experience as they live their daily lives, listening to, watching and reading news. 

For now, the amazing Fijian people have inspired us. Few have TV’s and access to world news. Their passion for life is astounding. We try, if only for a little while, to embrace their joie de vivre, living in the moment, treasuring everything in front of us; the beauty of a country one imagines only in a dream of a tropical island. 

For us, for now, we call it home.

Photo from one year ago today, November 18, 2014:

The old Wailuku Courthouse, built in 1907, is located on the US National Register of Historic Buildings. We visited this quaint town of Wailuku one year ago today. Please click here for details.

The news follows us…We can run but can’t hide…

The surrounding mountains remind us of Kauai, although it’s very different here than in Hawaii.

We watch the news almost every day now that we have a TV. Once we arrive in Fiji in early September for four months on two different islands, we won’t have a TV. The only news we’ll be able to access is online from that point forward. Unsure as to the quality of the wifi, it’s questionable.

We walked out onto a very short pier for a slightly better view of the beach.

We haven’t had a TV in a number of past locations and we’ve managed fine without it. After all, it’s only news and documentaries we care to watch, aside from at the moment Australia’s version of Dancing with the Stars that started last Sunday and in a few days, Australia’s version of The Bachelor.

A long stretch of uninhabited beach in Cairns.

We’re not too proud to admit we do enjoy these types of mindless drivel from time to time.  Seven days a week, we spend the entire morning researching and preparing for our daily posts. A bit of mindless drivel in the evening is a welcome break from our lives of travel, including writing, researching, and photo and the accompanying challenges and level of planning and concentration required to live such a life.

Oh, we love our lives and particularly enjoy the diversity of our lives. Learning new information about the world around us, visiting venues in our current place of residence, meeting new people with perhaps a different manner of speaking and communicating their hopes, dreams, and views and, the constant search for anything of interest that may appear in the lens of our camera and into our hearts.

A huge tree along the Cairns Esplanade.  Looking online, I couldn’t find the name of this tree, but soon we’ll visit the Cairns Botanic Garden (yes, botanic, not botanical) and I’ll update this photo with the correct name. Any suggestions out there?

We spend a period of time some days doing nothing of significance. I’ve gone as far as downloading a few mindless drivel jelly-type games on my phone. I can easily wile away an entire hour of news or a documentary on the TV in the background while playing either of these silly games, paying total attention to both.

Cloudy day at the beach in Cairns at low tide.

Recently, Tom and I have begun playing the card game Gin again after a long respite when I was winning so often he got bored and even angry at times, once throwing his cards across the room. I laughed. We quit playing. Now, when back home, we play each afternoon around 4:00 pm, my preferred tea time.

It’s always interesting to visit beaches at low tide when as more birds wander about the sand in search of tasty morsels.

Actually, now the winning seems to be more evenly distributed and the challenge has improved for both of us resulting in the playing being more fun. No card throwing. No swearing. Plenty of laughing.

We walked along the Cairns Esplanade encountering an occasional jogger or bicyclist.

After we busied ourselves with sightseeing, planned or unplanned, we hunker down to the now-familiar “home” for the time being and do what most people do when not out and about…a bunch of nothing…a series of repetitive, familiar comforting tasks and forms of entertainment which we gravitate toward during idle time.

We hadn’t seen this species prior to the visit to the Cairns Esplanade. After considerable research, we found they are Silver Gulls.

As we watch the news trying to figure out what’s happening in the world, we discover little. Once in awhile the US Today Show pops up on the guide which we’ll watch with curiosity as to what is going on in the US and are often disappointed to see that so much of the news revolves around the rampant sensationalism of Hollywood and its celebrities.

It appears these birds are Silver Gulls, common near the sea in Australia with their pink feet and beaks.

Also, we’re amazed by the constant bashing and criticism of other well-known individuals throughout the world for their human-like flaws and foibles. When did any of us become so perfect that we so easily bash others?

The park at the Cairns Esplanade was quiet with few visitors on a cloudy day.

I particularly cringe over the constant promotion of ways of eating and foods that continue to make the world unhealthy and unfit including the ongoing promotion (by the food industry) of a low fat, high carb diet. Ah, I won’t get out the soapbox that I continue to haul all over the world with us.

Are we missing something wrapped up in our own little world? Based on what we’ve seen lately on a smattering of US news, we aren’t. We both have news apps on our phones and laptops that we reference daily. Our intent was never to be totally isolated from that which is transpiring in the world around us.

We’ve certainly seen our share of palm and coconut trees this past year.

Today and yesterday on Australian news we continue to hear about the disharmony between Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj and now, enters Katy Perry and her opinions. Surprisingly or perhaps not, the Australian news, so far away from Hollywood and the US entertainment industry is also caught up in reporting the scuttlebutt.

This unexplained orange sculpture is along the path on the Cairns Esplanade.  Any comments from our Aussie readers as to the story of this sculpture?

Yesterday, at the market, I noticed the magazines at checkout; Kim’s baby bump, Tom Cruise’s new movie, and Bar Raphael’s wedding plans. Oh, good grief. Give me a break. I want to hear about Stephen Hawking’s plan to discover life on another planet, the newly discovered Earth 2.0 or, what is really happening in the world and how the current horrors are being addressed.

It boils down to this simple fact: One can run but can’t hide. No matter how far away we travel, it’s still there.  Although, I must admit that when we lived in Kenya without a TV, we didn’t have a clue what was going on and we didn’t miss a thing. 

Cute name for a restaurant in Cairns.

Instead, our news for the day in Kenya centered around when the power was going out again, were we really safe at the grocery store surrounded by armed guards and 24-hour security at our home, or how many venomous centipedes inside the house can Tom squash under his shoe in one day?  It’s all relative.

                                               Photo from one year ago today, July 24, 2014:

As we ventured out on a road trip with only seven days until departure from Madeira we continued to revel in the beautiful scenery. For details from that date, please click here.